West Seattle, Washington
That’s the video just published by the Seattle Channel from last Thursday’s first local post-primary forum (dubbed a debate, but not really in that format) featuring the finalists for Seattle City Council District 1 (West Seattle and South Park), Lisa Herbold and Shannon Braddock. It’ll be shown on SC’s cable channel (21) sixteen times between now and October 1st, so if you want to watch that way, here’s the schedule:
Mon, Sep 21, 7:00 p.m.
Tue, Sep 22, 5:00 p.m.
Wed, Sep 23, 4:00 a.m.
Thu, Sep 24, 12:00 a.m.
Thu, Sep 24, 11:00 a.m.
Thu, Sep 24, 4:00 p.m.
Fri, Sep 25, 1:00 a.m.
Fri, Sep 25, 7:00 a.m.
Fri, Sep 25, 8:00 a.m.
Sat, Sep 26, 4:00 a.m.
Sun, Sep 27, 8:00 a.m.
Mon, Sep 28, 8:00 a.m.
Tue, Sep 29, 4:00 p.m.
Wed, Sep 30, 4:00 a.m.
Wed, Sep 30, 2:00 p.m.
Thu, Oct 01, 6:00 p.m.
And if you’d like to see and hear the candidates in person, you have at least four more chances:
The next local, open-to-the-public forum on the schedule is 6:30 pm Tuesday, October 6th, at Fauntleroy UCC Church (presented by the League of Women Voters and Westside Interfaith Network). That’ll be followed by 6:15 pm October 13th at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (presented by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce and West Seattle Transportation Coalition), along with 7 pm October 14th at The Hall at Fauntleroy, presented by the 34th District Democrats‘ regular meeting; and one set for October 15th at the High Point Library (not on the calendar yet so stay tuned for the time).
Every fall, the Seafair Clowns and Stoneway Concrete visit a local school with much-needed supplies for students – and this year, their special stop happened this morning at Highland Park Elementary. They brought along some friends you might recognize from TV, politics, and law enforcement:
West Seattle’s own Officer Lumpy posed for our photographer with HP Elementary principal Chris Cronas and Stoneway’s Michelle Derington, who organized the extravaganza:
They brought 650 backpacks and expected to give away 500, with the remaining going to area foster children. Plus, they brought some other helpful supplies – tissue, copy paper, and, for the school’s greenhouse and garden, potting supplies:
Another West Seattle church has just announced new leadership. Here’s the announcement from Fauntleroy Church:
A quorum of members voted unanimously Sept. 20 to select Rev. Leah Atkinson Bilinski as senior minister of Fauntleroy Church UCC. The 335-member congregation has been engaged in a nationwide search for new pastoral leadership since Rev. Dr. David Kratz retired in January 2013.
“Rev. Bilinski comes to us with a wealth of experience in preaching, youth programs, service and outreach, pastoral care, and administration,” said Sarah Finney, moderator of the congregation. “We know Leah will be a wonderful addition to our church and to the wider community.”
When asked why she had applied, Rev. Bilinski said she has longed to serve what she found at Fauntleroy Church – “a well-engaged, thoughtful, and very aware congregation.”
An ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, Rev. Bilinski received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology alongside an elementary teaching certificate from Grinnell College in 1999, then a masters of divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in 2007. Her experience includes six years as copastor at St. Peter’s UCC in Washington, MO, and four months as acting pastor of Ebenezer “Stone Church” UCC in Gerald, MO. She has also had leadership and administrative roles in UCC youth programs and chaplaincy experience in hospital and elder settings.
She currently lives with her husband and two-year-old daughter in Washington, MO, southwest of St. Louis, and will move to West Seattle to start her new pastorate on Nov. 29, the first Sunday of Advent.
SIDE NOTE: One of the church’s most popular community events, the twice-yearly Recycle Roundup, is coming up this Sunday (September 27th), 9 am-3 pm, in the lot outside the church at 9140 California SW; our recent preview includes information on what can and can’t be dropped off for recycling, for free.
A draft “North Delridge Action Plan” has been taking shape with feedback including discussion at gatherings such as the one above at Delridge Community Center back in June and at the Delridge Day festival last month. But does it align with YOUR priorities for the area? Come talk about it at DCC, 6-8 pm Tuesday, September 29th (one week from tomorrow) – child care and snacks provided. Important note – it’s not just about “North” Delridge, the announcement points out:
The North Delridge Action Plan team is collaborating with two other City projects, and will help direct their ongoing work. The Delridge Way SW Multimodal Corridor Study seeks to transform Delridge Way SW (from SW Roxbury St. to the West Seattle Bridge) into a safer and healthier public space with more predictable movements of people and goods. SPU is developing a Natural Drainage Systems (NDS) Partnership Program. This program will achieve the water quality goals identified in the Plan to Protect Seattle’s Waterways by working with sister agencies and community partners to deliver high-value neighborhood improvements.
Delridge Community Center, site of the Sept. 29th meeting, is at 4501 Delridge Way SW.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:29 AM: The community coalition that’s been trying to convince the city not to sell off a group of ex-substation sites, mostly in West Seattle – saying we’ll regret the lost open space – has just discovered that a decision is near.
At Wednesday morning’s meeting of the City Council Energy Committee, City Light will ask official permission to sell eight sites (there originally were nine, but one in the Rainier Valley has been transferred to Seattle Public Utilities). Aerial views and addresses of the sites are here. Two (in south Highland Park, below, and Burien) are planned for sales to other public agencies:
Two (in Fauntleroy and Delridge, below) might go to community non-profits:
The other four (three in West Seattle, below – in Genesee Hill, Pigeon Point, and north Highland Park – one in SeaTac) will, at this point, just plain go up for sale:
Here’s the slide deck the council committee will be shown:
(Other meeting documents are here.)
This all goes back more than two years; in summer of 2013, Seattle City Light announced it was “studying” what to do with the surplus substations. A formal public hearing was held in fall 2013. Individual community groups took a look at the sites in their respective areas, such as the Highland Park Action Committee‘s discussion of the Dumar site in September 2013; the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council has been focused on the Dakota site’s fate. The two nonprofits hoping to purchase sites are the Fauntleroy Community Association, looking at raising money to buy the Fauntleroy site, and Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, hoping to get the Delridge site.
Sale of the remaining four would bring $1.2 million into the city treasury, SCL estimates, adding that – as noted in the slide deck – they’ve already asked other city departments, including Parks, about their interest, and found no takers, aside from the aforementioned SPU transfer.
The Seattle Green Spaces Coalition – founded as the West Seattle GSC, focusing on the substation sites but expanding citywide to advocate for open-space preservation – says it didn’t even get notification this was coming up for council consideration this week, but rather found out by reading the committee agenda sent out at the end of last week. It’s asking supporters to contact the mayor and the council, which certainly can be done with any opinion on the proposed sale, pro or con. As with most council committee meetings, there’ll be a public-comment period on Wednesday as the 9:30 am meeting gets under way; it’ll be shown live via Seattle Channel, cable channel 21 and online at seattlechannel.org. Once the committee has considered the City Light recommendation, it’ll move on to the full council for a final vote.
ADDED 12:10 PM: City Light spokesperson Scott Thomsen clarifies the process: This Wednesday’s Energy Committee meeting is when the bill to “dispose” of the surplus ex-substations will be introduced; a briefing is planned but not a vote – that would come at a subsequent meeting. Also, reviewing the full agenda, this item IS listed as an official “public hearing.”
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:49 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from our area so far. Alerts/reminders:
THIS WEEK’S BIGGEST ALERT: First circulated by the city on Friday – word that traffic, particularly downtown, could be snarled during the visit of China’s president tomorrow through Thursday morning. As we note, though, he is flying into and out of Paine Field in Snohomish County, not Boeing Field as is often the case with VIP visits, so that means his arrival and departure will *not* have those “I-5 closed near the WS Bridge” effects.
RED PAINT FOR THE BUS LANE: Also announced late Friday by the city, the bus lane on the eastbound bridge will get red markings, as have several other non-West Seattle streets, in hopes of deterring illegal non-bus use of the lane. The painting was supposed to start last night but rain postponed it; the work will be done over three nights once it resumes, which could be tonight.
Related to that …
27 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE/DUWAMISH WATERWAY CORRIDOR TRAFFIC: The bus-lane markings are the first of 27 items on a “project list” that’s the result of a long-promised look at what could be done about bridge-and-vicinity traffic. Our report published last night is your first look at the list and accompanying report, which will be formally presented to the City Council Transportation Committee tomorrow.
9:22 AM NOTE: If you missed it in comment discussion below: Did you see a “Viaduct Closed” beacon-equipped sign flashing this morning? No, The Viaduct was *not* closed; responding to our inquiry via Twitter, SDOT says there was a “malfunction.”
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Though rain has just led to postponement of what was to be SDOT‘s second night of work to add red markings to the bus lane on the eastbound West Seattle Bridge, we’ve obtained a little light reading for everyone interested in what else the city is pursuing for improving traffic in what’s now dubbed the West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor.
The bus-lane markings are the first of 27 potential action items comprising the heart of a report to be presented during Tuesday morning’s meeting of the City Council Transportation Committee, chaired by West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. It traces back to January, when Rasmussen announced the city would launch a “West Seattle Bridge Corridor Management Task Force.” Then at the end of July, he said its recommendations would emerge this month – and here they are.
The report includes three documents – first, a slide deck; second, a project list, third, a “white paper,” which includes declarations such as, “Traffic volumes on the West Seattle Bridge and Spokane Viaduct are projected to increase 26-33% over the next 20 years.” None of the possibilities are particularly dramatic; it’s more incremental – such as the long-expected upgrade of Delridge Way to a RapidRide corridor; possibly turning the West Seattle Water Taxi into a two-boat run for more-frequent service.
The slide deck has the toplines:
The project list elaborates on them (click “zoom in” in the lower right of the Scribd embed, and you should be able to read the details):
And the “white paper” goes even further, adding some other possibilities, as well as facts you might not have heard before (such as “King County Metro currently operates 13 routes over the West Seattle Bridge during weekdays. There are 29,300 total riders and 765 buses in the corridor each weekday.”).
In those documents, you won’t see what SDOT had already long since ruled out, adding another lane to the eastbound-bridge-to-northbound-99 bottleneck. But the “white paper” does mention the possibility of looking at re-adding a 4th Avenue onramp to the Spokane Street Viaduct section of the WS Bridge (the last one was closed in 1993).
The “white paper” also goes extensively into the long-contentious issue of low-bridge openings for marine traffic during commute times, particularly as they affect bicyclists, who don’t have a nearby alternative as do motorized vehicles, and freight. It acknowledges some improvements in the way things have been working, and suggests a few more, most intriguingly, in the last paragraph of the entire “white paper”:
The Swing Bridge control system is a computer based programmable controller system. There are over 2200 individual commands and steps in the process to completely open and close the bridge. Through careful critical path analysis of the opening and closing sequence there is an opportunity to reduce the electrical/mechanical functional time. We cannot control the time necessary for a vessel to safely transit the waterway, but if we can reduce the overall opening time by only 30 seconds, it can save over 15 hours of delay time per year.
WHAT’S NEXT? The Tuesday-morning meeting at which this will be presented is at 9:30 am at City Hall. (Councilmember Rasmussen was still reviewing the report when we talked to him earlier today; we were going to ask him for comment at what was supposed to be a photo opportunity in the bridge-painting zone tonight, but that’s now been postponed for weather, as mentioned above.) If you can’t be at Tuesday’s meeting, Seattle Channel will carry it live, online and on cable channel 21. As you review the documents, you’ll note that some of the suggestions have funding, more don’t, so these will be potential issues in both the upcoming city budget process and the campaign for the Move Seattle transportation levy, as well as issues to bring up with the candidates for West Seattle/South Park’s City Council District 1 seat.
MONDAY MIDDAY P.S. As pointed out in comments, you’re invited to come discuss the overall West Seattle egress/ingress issue at this Thursday’s WS Transportation Coalition meeting, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way).
7:29 PM: From the Seattle Education Association meeting downtown: Members have voted to accept the contract.
SEA members approve new contract! #SPSstrike
— Seattle EA (@SeattleEA) September 21, 2015
The vote was conducted by ballot, five days after negotiators for the union and Seattle Public Schools announced a tentative agreement last Tuesday morning. We published toplines in our coverage of union leaders’ Tuesday afternoon decision to suspend the strike; they’re also linked from this page on the union website.
8:10 PM: The union hasn’t released percentages/numbers, but some educators’ tweets indicate it was a sizable margin of approval. Separate from the contract, some loose ends left from the weeklong strike are yet to be worked out, such as how the six missed school days will be made up, and how key year-end dates, such as graduations, will be affected. We’ll be checking with the district to see if they have an estimate on how long it’ll be until those details are worked out.
8:55 PM: The union’s news release just arrived:
6:11 PM: Today we’ve seen sun, wind, rain … and a rainbow. Thanks for sharing photos; this one is from Travis on the east edge of The Junction, via Twitter.
ADDED 7:15 PM: Thanks to David Williams from this view from the Charlestown/44th vicinity:
P.S. Autumn officially arrives at 1:22 am this Wednesday morning (September 23rd).
ADDED 10:43 PM: And congratulations to newlyweds Meghan and Matt Miller – who came home from their wedding reception to find the rainbow over their Highland Park home!
5:29 PM: For more than a day now, according to two reports we’ve received, at least one squirrel has been inside Terjung’s House of Gifts in The Junction, visible through the window. The two people who’ve mentioned it – including the one who just texted the photo – say they couldn’t figure out any way to track down the store’s owners, even via neighboring business owners. So we’re publishing this in hopes maybe someone who reads it will know and be able to alert them (or will have some other idea of what to do).
5:47 PM: Thanks to Wendy, who says in comments: “I just called them & they are aware. They tried to catch him this morning, then put a catch/release trap in the store and plan to check on it after dinner.”
Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
MISSING A LOVED ONE’S ASHES? Dawn‘s home and car were broken into last night near Fairmount Park. Someone found some of her stolen belongings and messaged her via Facebook – mentioning along the way that he found some other items too, particularly the ashes of someone named Charlotte Goodman. If you have any idea whose those might be, go here and Dawn can mediate. Police have the info too.
HIT-RUN: Any info about this?
My car was hit (Saturday) afternoon while I was shopping at the Jefferson Square Safeway. The right rear bumper is badly damaged. I was wondering if you could put a short notice in the blog to see if anyone saw anything. … I have a 2014 Honda Civic (white color) that I bought just two weeks ago.
You can contact the victim at email@example.com.
WEST SEATTLE BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS NETWORK: The next crime/safety meeting in West Seattle is this Tuesday night, September 22nd, 6:30 pm, as WSBWCN meets for the first time since summer recess. Lots on the agenda – details on the WSBWCN website. (You do NOT have to be a BW captain, or even member, to attend – all welcome.)
1:44 PM: Looking for something to do this afternoon? After King County Councilmember Joe McDermott and project manager Mary Wohleb ceremonially cut a big yellow ribbon, raingarden tours are under way in Sunrise Heights and Westwood until 4 pm – find the map here. It’s all to celebrate the completion of 91 roadside raingardens in planting strips spread across 15 blocks in those two neighborhoods, to keep stormwater out of the combined-sewer system and, in turn, keep untreated wastewater from overflowing into Puget Sound when the Barton Pump Station in Fauntleroy is overwhelmed. This is one of two King County Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) reduction projects in West Seattle that date back to early public meetings in 2009, and it was the county’s first-ever project of this type (the other project is the million-gallon Murray CSO storage tank being built across from Lowman Beach Park).
ADDED 3:24 PM: First, our video of the short round of speeches that began the event – Kristine Cramer from the KC Wastewater Treatment Division spoke first, then Councilmember McDermott and Wohleb.
As McDermott pointed out, “Neighbors spoke up, and the county listened.” That hinted at the pre-construction controversy for both West Seattle CSO projects. After early meetings dating back to 2007, three options for reducing the Barton basin (map) overflow were presented in 2010, and this was one of them; the other two involved stormwater-storage facilities on the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse back lot, or under upper Fauntleroy Way across from the ferry dock, which generated much opposition, given the historic unofficial park status of the area.
Once the “green stormwater infrastructure” plan was announced in late 2010, that too generated skepticism – the city had tried it in Ballard and that did not go well, to say the least. In 2011, the county tried to calm the most common concerns with a special meeting to address them.
Before today’s ceremony, we talked with project manager Wohleb, who said none of the fears had borne out, so far. No ponding, for example – if anything, she said, the bioswales are draining water more quickly than expected. While this coming fall/winter will be the first rainy season post-completion, some raingardens were done before last winter, so we asked if they have any data. Not so far, in part because the Barton Pump Station itself has been out of commission for construction, too, KCWTD says.
Wohleb also had words of praise for the entire project team, including the contractors >Goodfellow Brothers and designers SVR. Also mentioned today: The copious amount of communication with neighbors (look at all the block-by-block updates on this page, just as an example).
WHAT’S NEXT: If the county needs more stormwater to be taken out of the system, four more blocks could get raingardens – shown in the project map above as “delayed”; they were designed and permitted, just in case. If you’re in the project area and interested in a home raingarden or cistern, the rebate program through RainWise is funded through next year; check it out to see if you’re eligible.
And note that projects like this are in the works for Highland Park and South Park – here’s the county project page for that.
Something to say about the Barton CSO project? The county has set up an online survey – just go here.
Thanks to Karen Berge for sharing photos from Saturday’s free Port of Seattle-presented boat tour of the area’s “Working Waterfront.” Karen reports the tour traveled along both the East and the West Waterways north of the Duwamish River; above, a closer look at one of the container ships in port at the time, the CGA-CGM Attila. The tour also traveled past Vigor Industrial‘s shipyard on Harbor Island:
One of the more eye-catching sights there, a partly wrapped state ferry – the M/V Tacoma, undergoing work at Vigor, same place it was built in the mid-’90s (when the shipyard was known as Todd):
As the tour headed into the Duwamish River, Karen says they traveled under the low bridge as well as the high bridge:
If the tide had been any higher, she said, the low bridge would have had to have opened. Along the Duwamish, the sights turned to many a barge:
That included the one that generated some controversy among local environmental advocates for bringing in contaminated sediment from Bellingham :
Speaking of controversy, the tour also went by West Seattle’s Terminal 5:
Part of Shell’s Arctic-drilling fleet is still expected back at T-5 after the short drilling season, but the city Hearing Examiner’s decision is still pending, regarding whether additional city permits are needed.
Along with the diversity of facilities along the waterfront, the diversity of vessels was in view too. With the reconfiguration of Highway 99 and Alaskan Way on the south side of downtown, you don’t get as much of a view of the Coast Guard’s ships any more – here’s what was visible from the tour:
Karen concluded, in her note with the photos, “What I found most interesting was the opportunity to see a different perspective of places that I think I know so well. I cross both of the West Seattle bridges frequently, but have not had opportunities to see the underside of these bridges from a boat.
“Today, we saw parks, buildings, and industrial facilities in a different way than we have seen them before. I’ve gone to Jack Block Park as a destination, but have never seen it or any of the surrounding shoreline from the water, so it was incredibly interesting to see it in that context.
“It was also interesting to see the mixture of newer versus older buildings and learn more about those that I’ve never pondered. For example, our tour boat passed by the old Fisher Flour Mill and when asked, no one could identify it by name.” She adds that port reps say they’ll be offering the “working waterfront” tour to other neighborhoods – West Seattle was the first.
Next Saturday – September 26th – you can get expired/no-longer-needed prescription drugs out of your home and into a safe drop-off container at the Southwest Precinct, during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, 10 am-2 pm. The announcement is from SW Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis. Nationally, it’s a DEA initiative, as explained:
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.
The precinct is at 2300 SW Webster; the public entrance is off the east side of its parking lot on Webster west of Delridge.
(Seen from Don Armeni Boat Ramp on Friday night – photo by Don Brubeck)
Happy Sunday! From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
PANCAKE BREAKFAST FUNDRAISER: 10 am-noon at Alki Masonic Center in The Junction, join Westside Wildcat Junior Football and Cheer for a benefit pancake breakfast, $6 per person or $25 for families for a breakfast including pancakes, eggs, bacon, turkey sausage, coffee; more info in our calendar listing. (40th SW & SW Edmunds)
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm in The Junction, year-round, with locally grown/produced fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, beverages, more. (California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)
SECOND-TIME SALE, DAY 2: 11 am-1 pm, shop the gently used items you’ll find inside the Fellowship Hall at Fauntleroy UCC Church: “Bargains on almost anything you could need or want, all clean, culled, and organized.” (9140 California SW)
FAMILY FUN FESTIVAL: Noon-2 pm, come have fun inside High Point Community Center – details here – free admission with a nonperishable food donation for the West Seattle Food Bank. Hosted by Bethany Community Church. (6920 34th SW)
RUNOFF-REDUCING RAINGARDENS TO BE DEDICATED: 1 pm at 32nd SW & SW Kenyon, the King County Wastewater Treatment Division celebrates the completion of one of its two major Combined Sewer Overflow projects in West Seattle, the one for what’s known as the Barton Basin, because it feeds down to the Barton Pump Station near the Fauntleroy ferry terminal. This project resulted in 15 blocks of roadside raingardens built to catch and absorb or reroute rainwater that used to go into the “combined sewer” system, resulting in several overflows of untreated wastewater into Puget Sound most years. After the 1 pm ceremony, you’ll be able to tour three areas of the project, each with a different “palette” of plantings, 1:30-4 pm.
CIDER PRESS: It’s the annual cider-press event with City Fruit at West Seattle Nursery, 1-3 pm – bring your own growler or buy one at the event – and if you have fruit to press, bring that too! More info here. (California SW & SW Brandon)
JAMTIME, LIVE: At C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 1-3 pm. (5612 California SW)
(Saturday’s sunset – photo by JayDee)
TRAFFIC REMINDER FOR TONIGHT: The city expects to continue working on the West Seattle Bridge eastbound bus-lane markings overnight tonight, as noted here.
MORE … on our calendar!
Seems a long time since Tuesday, when the Seattle Education Association and Seattle Public Schools reached a tentative agreement and SEA suspended its strike. It won’t be officially over until and unless the membership approves the contract deal. Voting is planned during the union’s general membership meeting on Sunday, 3 pm at Benaroya Hall downtown. This time, the vote is expected to be by ballot, not voice; the process is explained on the SEA home page. The SEA news release notes, “It could take hours of debate and questions before the vote.” We asked a union spokesperson if the meeting would be open to the media; the reply, no, but they might open it for announcement of the results, which we’ll report whenever/however they’re available. (WSB photo: Picketing outside district HQ last Monday, after strikers marched downtown from Denny/Sealth)
(WSB video & photos by Katie Meyer)
That’s the public meeting that wouldn’t have happened if not for community demand. At the first open house for SDOT’s SW Admiral Way Safety Project back in May at Alki Elementary (WSB coverage here) – at which many concerns were detailed, sometimes testily – Admiral Neighborhood Association president David Whiting stood up and asked SDOT reps to commit to a second public meeting, then and there. They did. And so, nine days after going over plan revisions at the ANA’s regular monthly meeting on September 8th (WSB coverage here), SDOT held a standalone open house at Hiawatha Community Center this past Thursday.
It started and ended with discussion time around the room, where these boards were shown – with some options that weren’t in the deck at the ANA meeting:
The slide deck included in the presentation on our video is here:
The only thing we can’t show you is what Mayor Ed Murray told attendees at the start of the meeting – we had equipment trouble, so our video picks up shortly after that. He told those gathered that their concerns had caught his attention. He didn’t stay, but as you can see in the video, SDOT director Scott Kubly did, as did the staffers who led the presentation, Dawn Schellenberg and Sam Woods, and traffic engineer Dongho Chang.
The points of contention continue to be whether proposed changes are necessary and/or whether they will address the key factor in collisions along the road, drivers losing control (and/or impaired) and hitting parked cars. The need for bicycle lanes continued to be debated; while the road is not heavily used by riders now, the city, and riders, say that’s to be expected because it’s not a safe/comfortable option in its current configuration. While the city’s new options would keep much of the on-street vehicle parking that was previously proposed for removal, the potential loss of a center turn lane as a result drew some concerns.
If the goal is to slow drivers down, why not use speed humps? Chang explained that they’re dangerous on slopes.
The questions/answers continued; SDOT says it’s still open to comments on the revised plans until October 1st – a link for e-mail feedback is on the project webpage – then they will work on a “final” design, with fall/winter implementation and “evaluation” next year:
Thanks to Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark for sharing photos from today’s Fiestas Patrias parade in South Park – during which the Denny contingent celebrated a special anniversary for the academic-support program Proyecto Saber:
I am proud to share that the Denny Dolphins had a great time celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Proyecto Saber as we marched in our favorite parade, Fiestas Patrias in South Park!
A special thank you to our superstar Proyecto staff, Liz Olsen, Herman Garcia, and Diana Burga! Our Dolphin Scholars did an excellent job representing their school as a part of the special neighborhood celebration.
A big shout out to our friends at Concord International Elementary School, Ms. Nestor, Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Bautista from El Centro de la Raza, and Ms. Clausen, who danced in her Salvadorean attire.
Go Dolphins! Viva Proyecto!
The parade featured hundreds of participants – also including custom cars and horseback riders!
As explained online, the Fiestas Patrias parade and subsequent festival in South Park – along with a festival continuing downtown at Seattel Center tomorrow – celebrate “the Latin American countries that celebrate their independence throughout the month of September. Belizeans, Brazilians, Chileans, Costa Ricans, Salvadoreans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, Mexicans, and Nicaraguans from all over the Pacific Northwest come to enjoy their beautiful cultures with great food, dance, music, and more.”
Since the city sent first word Friday afternoon of the plan to paint red markings in the bus lane on the eastbound West Seattle Bridge, we’ve followed up to get the work schedule, which wasn’t in the announcement. If you’re driving the eastbound bridge overnight any time in the next four nights, be on the lookout for crews. SDOT spokesperson Norm Mah tells WSB it’ll be done over the next four nights:
The prep will begin Saturday night at 9 pm and go probably until 5 am. Then the painting is scheduled to begin Sunday night at 9 pm until 5 am to have the least impact on traffic. The work will continue Monday and Tuesday nights same hours and expected to be completed and ready for the Wednesday morning commute.
The city has marked bus lanes with red paint in four other spots so far. This is apparently one of the action items in the long-awaited “West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor Action Report” that will be presented at the City Council Transportation Committee‘s meeting on Tuesday morning at 9:30 am; the report itself is not yet attached to the agenda.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
STOLEN BICYCLE: Travis hopes you will be on the lookout for his bicycle, stolen from the back patio of his house between 10:45 pm Friday and 9 am today near the corner of 38th SW and SW Hinds. The serial number starts with M13; the bags were not on the bike at the time; a report is filed with police, so call 911 (and then comment here!) if you see it. (8:38 PM UPDATE – it’s back.)
FIRE EXTINGUISHERS RETURNED: Back on Tuesday, we published a report that two fire extinguishers had been stolen from SFD Engine 32 while its crew was out on an emergency call. Last night, we received word that they’ve been returned to the station – with a note of apology. (We added that info to the original story last night, but are mentioning it here since most probably wouldn’t be checking back for an update.)
Cycle University‘s West Seattle branch is getting out of the retail business – but you’ll still be able to shop there, as another bike shop takes over the retail space, while Cycle U continues with cycling-fitness classes, bike-fitting, coaching, and bicycle-skill classes. Cycle U proprietor Craig Undem says they’re partnering with Woodinville Bicycle, which will open its second shop at the Cycle U WS location as Westside Bicycles. That’ll be in an expanded retail space on the main floor at 3418 Harbor Ave. SW, while Cycle U’s offerings will be in a remodeled basement studio, starting in early October. In the meantime, Cycle U’s having a “blow-out liquidation sale” of its merchandise. Undem says in the announcement, “I can’t thank the West Seattle community enough for the support and patronage these first 6 years from our start at the Senior Center and the Huling Brothers Jeep location. We always wanted to offer more bikes and accessories but were working with a limited budget. Woodinville Bicycle has been one of the top shops in the region for 10 years and has the resources to really outfit a top level bike shop. This will allow us to focus on what we do best.” Cycle U moved to Harbor Ave. in 2012. (King County Assessor’s Office photo)
Once it was determined that Seattle Public Schools would start this past Thursday, we published a reminder about West Seattle’s new speed camera zone, its fourth one, on Delridge Way SW by Louisa Boren STEM K-8 and interim Arbor Heights Elementary (as first confirmed in June). We have since obtained followup information about the warning period for that camera – and it includes news of the new increased fine for school-zone speeding. From Chris Steel of SPD’s speed-camera program:
The new sites [this one and others in the city] will have a 30-day warning period starting on the first day of school, 9/17/15. Drivers who exceed the posted speed limit while the school zone beacons are active will receive a Courtesy Warning Notice. This notice explains the school zone safety program and advises the driver:
· This is a Courtesy Warning Only
· There is No Penalty for this Notice
· These is No Response needed
· This Notice will not be reported to the Department of Licensing
The notice goes further on to explain that once the warning period ends, the current fine for this violation is $234. This is an increase from last school year as mandated by the Washington Supreme Court and in effect as of July 1, 2015.
Again, the “grace period” applies only to the ticketing *camera* in the STEM/AH zone – if an officer tickets you, or if you get an in-person or camera ticket in any other flashing-beacon school zone, it’s official from the school year’s start. (Here’s the map of speed cameras citywide – West Seattle has three that were in use before this school year, Fauntleroy Way SW near Gatewood Elementary and two on SW Roxbury, by Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School.)
(9-year-old Ole Gutierrez of the Fire Breathers, photographed by Tom Madden last weekend)
The spotlight photo is in honor of the West Seattle Soccer Club‘s recordsetting fall season (2,000+ players, 340+ volunteer coaches) starting its second weekend. In all, lots going on today! Here are the highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
PORT OF SEATTLE BOAT TOUR: If you’re going on this, you should already have RSVP’d; we’re just mentioning it as a reminder. The port’s free boat tour for West Seattleites, to show off the “working waterfront,” leaves Pier 66 downtown at 9:30 am.
SECOND-TIME SALE: 9 am-3 pm in the Fellowship Hall at Fauntleroy Church. Volunteers worked hard Friday to get everything ready:
(Volunteer Baiba Morris gets a pile of linens ready for this weekend’s sale. Photo courtesy Judy Pickens)
The sale continues for a few midday hours on Sunday, but today’s your best chance at the best deals. (9140 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE GEAR GRAB: 10 am-4 pm, outdoor gear at an outdoor sale! Emerald Water Anglers (WSB sponsor), West Seattle Cyclery, and Mountain to Sound Outfitters are teaming up for this giant parking-lot clearance sale, rain or shine, as previewed here. (42nd SW parking lot south of SW Oregon)
WESTFEST: 10 am-10 pm, it’s the second and final day of Holy Rosary School‘s annual fundraising festival. Family fun, food, and other festivities. See the entertainment schedule – and get other festival info – by going here. (42nd SW & SW Genesee)
FIESTAS PATRIAS PARADE: 11 am in South Park – if you love parades, you don’t want to miss this one. Followed by a festival at SP Community Center; details here. (14th Avenue S.)
STORYTIME: Melissa at Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village says, “Splat the Cat will be our very special guest star at our Saturday Storytime! Come say hi to our fun, furry friend, and listen to his great stories! 11 am in the Kids’ Department.” (2800 SW Barton)
EVENING WALK WITH THE OWLS, RAVENS, & OTHER LIFE FORMS: 6:30 pm nature walk in Lincoln Park with naturalist Stewart Wechsler – details on his website. (8265 Fauntleroy Way SW)
BUFFALO FIELD CAMPAIGN ROAD SHOW: 7 pm at Easy Street Records, music and advocacy on behalf of this “non-profit, volunteer-based organization focused on protecting America’s last wild buffalo population,” in southwestern Montana. More in our calendar listing. (SW Alaska & California SW)
MORE LIVE MUSIC: Bavarian music for Oktoberfest at Elliott Bay, Roo Forrest & Friends at >C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor), Katherine Terrien at The Junction Church, and a multi-act bill at Skylark – find all those listings on our complete calendar.